Rainy season, and far-off fears

Stuck in traffic, but it could be worse

E-mail from the Irish embassy a few hours ago: “Please note that there is a Tsunami warning in place on the Indian Ocean following earthquake this a.m. in Indonesia. Please monitor local radio and tv stations for up to date reports.”

By now the warning seems to have been lifted. For a brief afternoon though, we wondered if and when the tsunami would reach the East African coast. I started worrying about friends on Zanzibar. The rains that came down relentlessly for most of today – rainy season has finally got underway – seemed to warn of more frightening floods to come. We were sent home early from class because everyone realised how hard it would be to get home; meetings and gym classes this evening were cancelled; remembering the December floods in Dar es Salaam that killed over 50 people and destroyed numerous homes and offices, people began packing up valuables.

And we all waited for hours in unmoving traffic, or took off shoes and trudged home through streams where there used to be roads. The rain makes everything unpredictable, unplannable, but whatever happens, we all want to go home.

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